CRS — Federal Financial Reporting: An Overview

October 28, 2013

Federal Financial Reporting: An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Federal financial reporting—defined here as the process of recording retrospective executive department-level financial and performance information—can provide both a snapshot of the government’s financial health at a given moment in time, as well as an accounting of its financial performance over a particular time frame. Federal financial reports may help the federal government demonstrate accountability, provide information for policy formulation and planning, and be used to evaluate governmental performance. Multiple reports are required by law, and all are intended to permit users—Congress, the President, agency heads, program managers, and citizens—to see how the government raises, handles, and expends public money. Congress, in particular, may find the information in federal financial reports useful for oversight.

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